Aunt Martha’s Victorian Restaurant & Tea Room
The Branch • Drybrook • Forest of Dean
Gloucestershire GL17 9DB
01594 824514 • auntmartha.co.uk
The years of Queen Victoria’s reign were, of course, the period in British history when afternoon tea gradually took over the social life of the nation. And as guests arrive at Aunt Martha’s, they step back to 1897, the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and are welcomed by Lady Nadine (Aunt Martha’s identical twin sister) and, for the duration of their visit, are completely immersed in a theatrical Victorian experience. The décor is genuine Victorian cottage style, the menu serves only food and drinks that were available at the time (so no teabags or cappuccinos), the table wares are Victorian, the furnishings are all of the period, and a cast of fascinating Victorian characters, including Lady Nadine herself, amuse and entertain with historical anecdotes while serving savouries and cakes, pots of tea, and warm scones from a kitchen equipped in pure Victorian style.
The menu is as inventive as the costumes and interior design: the Countess’s Afternoon Tea is for those who love pretty things and dainty sweet indulgences; the Baroness’s Afternoon Tea is designed for guests who suffer from allergies and have special dietary needs; the Dowager Duchess’s Afternoon Tea is for those who wish to trim their waistline while still enjoying teatime; and the Empire Tea lives up to its name and is a feast for four people. The main dining area, as well as the Oriental Tea Pagoda, the Ancient Egypt Dining Room, and the Arts and Crafts Tea Garden, provide space for private tea parties. As they step through the pergola at the entrance to Aunt Martha’s, visitors could never guess at the wealth of historical entertainment and delicious Victorian treats that await them inside.